Server-side redirect

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A server side redirect is a method of URL redirection using an HTTP status code (eg. 301 Moved Permanently, 303 See Other and 307 Temporary Redirect) issued by a web server in response to a request for a particular URL. The result is to redirect user's web browser to another web page with a different URL.

One method of implementing server-side redirects is the .htaccess file supported by most Apache web servers. An example of the code used is as follows.

redirect 301 /index.html

Common uses of server-side redirects include:

  • redirecting people away from a discontinued server
  • load balancing
  • redirecting to error pages if a discontinued URL is used
  • link use tracking, as done at the AltaVista search engine
  • spamdexing
  • ensuring old links and bookmarks still work when a page is renamed
  • allowing users to use an abbreviated URL in place of a longer (perhaps less memorable) one
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